What do you get when you combine the Great Depression, a dilapidated orphanage run by an alcoholic, and costume design reminiscent of Zoolander‘s Mugatu’s Derelicte collection? Throw in some musical numbers and you get Annie—a story that has been entertaining audiences for over 35 years. Although it originally began as a Broadway play, the rags-to-riches tale gained fame, in large part thanks to the film version released this month in 1982, starring a raft of big name stars. Ever wonder what became of those actors? Just stick out your chin and grin and read on.
AILEEN QUINN. Born in Yardley, Pennsylvania, Aileen Quinn spent a year auditioning for the title role of Annie and had to beat out 8,000 other competitors (take that Hunger Games!). She continued appearing on stage as a child, then enrolled at Drew University where she studied languages. After graduating, Quinn toured the U.S. in various stage productions including Fiddler on the Roof and Peter Pan. She also performed Shakespeare at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Despite accurately predicting that the sun would come out tomorrow, Quinn didn’t grow up to be a meteorologist. These days, she’s the lead singer of the Los Angeles-based Rockabilly band, Leapin’ Lizards, and has taught drama, dance, and Spanish.
CAROL BURNETT. As the lanky, bumbling caretaker of the Hudson Street Home for Girls, the role of Miss Hannigan was perfect for a gifted physical comic like Carol Burnett. Who else could have stole scenes while imbibing gin straight from a bathtub, making out with a radio, and generally dressing like an unmade bed? Burnett was already a huge star by the time she appeared in Annie—the highly successful Carol Burnett Show had recently finished an 11-year run. After Annie, Burnett appeared frequently on TV, with roles on shows like Mama’s Family and Mad About You. In 2010, she guest starred on an episode of Glee as the mother of cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester. She is married to musician Brian Miller and had three daughters from a previous marriage. Her oldest daughter, Carrie, died of cancer in 2002. Today, Burnett resides in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
ALBERT FINNEY. As Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, Albert Finney played the gruff industrialist with a heart of gold and a head of skin. It was a fitting role for Finney, who grew up in working-class Manchester and rose to fame by playing gritty film roles in the 60s. But Finney has never been one to embrace the spotlight, (which explains why we could only find this pic of him from 2003). In fact, in 2000 he turned down an offer of knighthood for the second time. Yet his work has made him no stranger to Hollywood success, with starring roles in Erin Brockovich, Big Fish, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Skyfall. From 2007 to 2012, Finney’s presence on the big screen was limited due to a battle with prostate cancer.
TIM CURRY. All things being equal, Tim Curry’s portrayal as the thieving, kidnapping Rooster seems a bit tame compared to his infamous turn as the loveable transvestite Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. After his stint in Annie, Curry returned to stage acting but eventually moved to Los Angeles and took on roles in films like The Hunt for Red October. He also starred in a television adaptation of Stephen King’s It, and helped contribute to childhood fears of clowns nationwide. His most recent roles have included appearances on CBS’ Criminal Minds, but his voice has been featured extensively on a variety of cartoons and audiobooks. He lives in Los Angeles with his dog DeNiro.
BERNADETTE PETERS. It’s surprising the minor role of Lily St. Regis was given to a Broadway superstar like Bernadette Peters. The actress (who plays Rooster’s kewpie doll girlfriend) doesn’t get much screen time, but when she belts out the tune “Easy Street,” you can hear why she’s a musical powerhouse. The Queens, New York-born actress has been starring on the stage and screen for over 50 years now. She has won two Tony Awards and has appeared on such television shows as Ally McBeal, Grey’s Anatomy, and Ugly Betty. She also recently appeared on the NBC show Smash. Although that show was recently canceled, Peters fans can hear her voice when she plays Glinda in next year’s animated film, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.
GEOFFREY HOLDER. Fans of Annie owe a lot to Warbuck’s bodyguard, Punjab. Without his creative use of a turban, Annie might still be stuck on top of a bridge. With his Buddhist observations and telekinetic powers, Punjab is easily the Yoda of the cast. Although viewers who originally saw the film in 1982 probably recognized him as the guy in the 7-Up “uncola” commercials. Who would have guessed Holder was an accomplished choreographer, even credited with creating dance pieces for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater? Most recently, however, he was the narrator in Tim Burton’s version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice.